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Residents and Transients and Offshores Oh MY! Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) of the Pacific Northwest Residents and Transients and Offshores Oh MY! Killer.

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Presentation on theme: "Residents and Transients and Offshores Oh MY! Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) of the Pacific Northwest Residents and Transients and Offshores Oh MY! Killer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Residents and Transients and Offshores Oh MY! Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) of the Pacific Northwest Residents and Transients and Offshores Oh MY! Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) of the Pacific Northwest Wednesday, 23 April 2008

2 Outline Taxonomy, Distribution, Behaviors Ecotypes Southern Residents Conservation Ecology Take home My work Taxonomy, Distribution, Behaviors Ecotypes Southern Residents Conservation Ecology Take home My work

3 Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Cetacea Suborder: Odontoceti Family: Delphinidae Killer Whale Classification

4 copyright © 2003 Uko Gorter Illustrations, all rights reserved Distribution

5 Matriline Pod Community group of related whales linked by maternal descent, highly cohesive groups ( Picture by Jessica Riggin) group of related matrilines, share common ancestor, matrilines travel more often together in their own pods than in other pods group of pods that regularly associate with each other group of pods that regularly associate with each other Definitions

6 Spy-hopping Tail-slapping Breaching Swim speed~ min COT = m/s Ave forage speed~ 1.6 m/s Spy-hopping Tail-slapping Breaching Swim speed~ min COT = m/s Ave forage speed~ 1.6 m/s Common Behaviors

7 Ecotypes

8 Offshores Distribution Feeding ecology Group size Distribution Feeding ecology Group size

9 Offshore Distribution Map

10 Transients Distribution Feeding Ecology Morphology Vocalization Group Size Distribution Feeding Ecology Morphology Vocalization Group Size

11 Transient Feeding Ecology

12

13 Residents Feeding Ecology Morphology Vocalization Group Size Distribution Feeding Ecology Morphology Vocalization Group Size Distribution

14 Map from NMML, Krahn et al Resident Killer Whale Distribution

15 Ford et al Northern and Southern Residents

16 3 pods J,K,L with individuals Annual photo ID surveys since 1970s 3 pods J,K,L with individuals Annual photo ID surveys since 1970s Southern Residents Surveys conducted by the Center for Whale Research

17 Distribution Summer distribution inland Winter distribution less known, difference among pods Summer distribution inland Winter distribution less known, difference among pods Hauser et al British Columbia Washington

18 Population Trend Data from Center for Whale Research Number of Individuals

19 NMFS received petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, to list species under ESA, 2001 NMFS conducted a status review (see tech memo 2002) Petition action not warranted, did not meet criteria under the ESA NMFS conducted a status review (see tech memo 2002) Petition action not warranted, did not meet criteria under the ESA Conservation & Management

20 Court appeal in 2002 Biological Review Team Listed as endangered under the ESA in 2005/2006 Recovery Plan Court appeal in 2002 Biological Review Team Listed as endangered under the ESA in 2005/2006 Recovery Plan Conservation & Management

21 Potential Risk Factors Vessel disturbance Quality and quantity of prey Contaminants such as PCBs

22 Vessel Disturbance Whale watch guidelines suggest boaters approach no closer than 100m, no leapfrogging Land-based study to test effects of “leapfrogging” Williams et al. 2002

23 Vessel Disturbance Williams et al. 2002

24 Communication Pods share discrete call types Whistles, pulsed calls, clicks Pods share discrete call types Whistles, pulsed calls, clicks

25 Communication Echolocation Residents- 4% of time, or 27X more than transients click trains – 7 sec., or 2X longer than transients Transients- isolated clicks, 12X/hr **passive listening Echolocation Residents- 4% of time, or 27X more than transients click trains – 7 sec., or 2X longer than transients Transients- isolated clicks, 12X/hr **passive listening Barrett-Lennard et al. 1996

26 Communication Barrett-Lennard et al Resident click train and click echoes Transient click train, uneven spacing

27 Quality and Quantity of Prey Studies show importance of Chinook Issues Chinook have high lipid content = possibly high levels of contaminants Sharp decline in Chinook abundance in 1990s Studies show importance of Chinook Issues Chinook have high lipid content = possibly high levels of contaminants Sharp decline in Chinook abundance in 1990s Ford et al. 2005

28 Quality and Quantity of Prey Ford et al Coastal regions associated with chinook salmon abundance estimates

29 Quality and Quantity of Prey Ford et al Other prey includes: chum, coho, herring, rockfish, halibut Other prey includes: chum, coho, herring, rockfish, halibut

30 Contaminants PCBs used in electrical transformers, paints, paper, pesticides… Breivik et al. 2002

31 Immune system suppression Reproductive failure or impairment Endocrine disruption Immune system suppression Reproductive failure or impairment Endocrine disruption Potential adverse health effects of PCBs Ross 2006

32 Contaminants Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program Spatial trends in the concentration of PCBs in Chinook in Puget Sound

33 Contaminants Ross et al. 2000

34 Ylitalo et al Contaminants

35 What is reason for decline? Vessel Disturbance Do changes in direction/speed change energetic requirements? Does vessel noise effect hearing? Vessel Disturbance Do changes in direction/speed change energetic requirements? Does vessel noise effect hearing?

36 What is reason for decline? Quality/Quantity of prey What are they eating in the winter months? Will they change prey when Chinook numbers are down? Quality/Quantity of prey What are they eating in the winter months? Will they change prey when Chinook numbers are down?

37 What is reason for decline? Contaminants How do the high loads of contaminants affect survival and fecundity? Contaminants How do the high loads of contaminants affect survival and fecundity?

38 Take Home Message Killer whales are found throughout the worlds oceans Offshores, transients and residents differ in several ways including diet, group size, communication, and behavior SRKW are listed as endangered under the ESA Factors of decline may include : 1) vessel disturbance, 2) quality and quantity of prey 3) and contaminants Killer whales are found throughout the worlds oceans Offshores, transients and residents differ in several ways including diet, group size, communication, and behavior SRKW are listed as endangered under the ESA Factors of decline may include : 1) vessel disturbance, 2) quality and quantity of prey 3) and contaminants

39 Thanks!


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